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Week in Review: New Year, New Triumphs for Freedom

January 7, 2023

New year, new victories for liberty—and the Goldwater Institute is already off to a running start.

This week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law Goldwater’s Breaking Down Barriers to Work reform, streamlining the process for experienced, licensed professionals to get to work by allowing for the universal recognition of their occupational license when they move to the state. Breaking Down Barriers to Work has already freed countless workers in more than twenty states to pursue their American Dream, and that number will only grow in 2023.

Meanwhile, hardworking Arizona families are getting some much-needed tax relief due to the state’s historic tax reform, which the Goldwater Institute helped write and pass to establish the nation’s lowest flat tax rate, taking effect a year early on Jan. 1. “This is going to be significant for Arizona families,” Goldwater Institute Director of Government Affairs Jenna Bentley told 12 News KPNX of the 2.5% flat tax rate.

Amid uncertain economic times, Americans need to be able to exercise their right to earn a living and keep more of their hard-earned money. Already in 2023, we’ve empowered millions of people to do just that—and we’re only getting started.

Read more about Breaking Down Barriers to Work here, and read more about Arizona’s new flat tax here.

Phoenix Government Fails All of Its Citizens in Homeless ‘Zone’

Failure.

It’s the word that best describes the Phoenix government’s refusal to protect all of its citizens’ rights in “The Zone,” a vast homeless encampment where violent criminals roam free and where businesses are being plundered and destroyed.

“There’s nothing compassionate about letting a thousand people live in dangerous and unsanitary conditions for years—at risk of murder, arson, theft, contagious illness and drug abuse,” Goldwater Institute Vice President for Legal Affairs Timothy Sandefur and Municipal Affairs Liaison Austin VanDerHeyden write in The Arizona Republic. “And the city’s refusal to enforce the law is hardly compassionate to the hard-working residents of the neighborhood, whose livelihoods have been wrecked by official negligence.”

The government’s inaction has driven residents and business owners to such despair that they sued the city for maintaining a nuisance. (The Goldwater Institute has filed a brief in support of these citizens’ rights.) While officials recently announced they had started to “clean up” The Zone, it’s really nothing more than window-dressing. Only a single block was cleaned (with no plans for follow-ups), and the city allowed campers to move right back onto the street afterward. As Sandefur and VanDerHeyden write, “The first responsibility of public officials is to protect the rights of the law-abiding; on that, Phoenix leaders have completely, and even deliberately, failed.”

Read more in The Arizona Republic.

Identity Politics Comes for Healthcare

Is racism to blame for disparities in healthcare outcomes? Certainly not, Goldwater Institute Visiting Fellow Dr. Murray Feldstein writes in Townhall. “I never wavered in attempting to treat each patient as an individual,” says Dr. Feldstein, who practiced as a surgeon for more than five decades in environments ranging from Native American reservations to inner cities. But today, a growing progressive movement “ignores the real progress we’ve made toward true racial equality, instead demanding that a patient’s group identity—his or her ‘community’—take precedence over the individual.”

Rather than dive into the numerous and complex factors that affect healthcare disparities, “equity” activists lump together people from all types of backgrounds (age, income, education, rurality, nationality) to create sweeping, misleading racial narratives. “This progressive vision of diversity and equity,” Dr. Feldstein explains, “treats Americans with unique needs and differences as if they’re nothing more than faceless, identical members of a given group.”

But Dr. Feldstein is optimistic that “most people still agree with Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream that the content of one’s character will count for more than the color of their skin.” Hopefully, he adds, MLK’s “dream of the melting pot will triumph over the nightmare of neo-segregationist identity politics.”

Read more in Townhall.

 

 

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